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-Mormon Church Apologizes for Violating Their Agreement with Jewish Leaders

by Dr. D ~ February 16th, 2012

Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA....

                                              (Image via Wikipedia)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has apologized for violating an agreement that they had with Jewish leaders not to posthumously ‘baptize’ victims of the holocaust. Here is the story:

CNN) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has apologized for "a serious breach of protocol" in which the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptized as Mormons.

The church also acknowledged that three relatives of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel were entered into the genealogy database, though not referred for baptism.

Asher Wiesenthal and Rosa Rapp were baptised in proxy ceremonies in temples in Utah and Arizona, according to the database records discovered by researcher Helen Radkey in Salt Lake City.

The Wiesenthal baptisms violated a 1995 pact in which the church agreed to stop baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims.

Here’s a response on the issue from LDS spokesman Michael Purdy:

“We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the church led to the inappropriate submission of these names.”

"These submissions were clearly against the policy of the church. We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records."

Meanwhile one cannot over estimate the grief this has caused among Jews with family and relatives who were killed in the Holocaust. Here’s a reaction from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who had participated in the earlier negotiations with the Mormon Church over their practice of posthumously baptizing Jews:

"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon Temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who participated in many of the high-level meetings between Jews and Mormon officials.

"Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon Church dating back to 1995 that focused on the unwanted and unwarranted posthumous baptisms of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Holocaust."

Here’s another wrinkle to this on-going story. On Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was called upon by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel to tell his church to stop doing proxy baptisms in the names of dead Jews, particularly Holocaust victims like Wiesel’s parents who were apparently found on a recent Mormon ‘ready to baptize’ list.

<<Read my response to this story on my Apologetica page>>

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